You may associate the phrase ‘mind the gap’ with the London underground, but you can also take this nugget of advice and apply it to your oral hygiene regime. Brushing your teeth is brilliant for your dental health, but you can’t cover every part of your mouth with a standard toothbrush. This is where inter-dental brushes and dental floss come in handy.
When you brush your teeth, you remove bacteria and food debris from your mouth, and this reduces the risk of plaque forming. However, you can’t clean between your teeth with a normal toothbrush, and this means that you’re not immune to dental problems. Using inter-dental brushes or dental floss, you can pick up where your brush left off, removing traces of bacteria and getting rid of any leftover bits of food. The more cleaning you can do, the lower the risk of cavities and gum disease.
Inter-dental brushes are small hand-held brushes, which are specially designed to clean the gaps and cracks between the teeth. They come in a range of sizes and they are colour-coded. Ask your dentist for advice about which brushes to choose. You simply hold the handle of the brush and gently clean the gaps.
Flossing should be part of your daily cleaning regime. Flossing is a simple way to clean between your teeth and it can really help you to steer clear of dental troubles. When you’re flossing, using a series of pieces of floss, and gently guide the tape through the cracks between your teeth. Don’t tug or pull at the thread, as this can hurt your gums and damage your teeth. It is normal for the gums to bleed the first time you floss, but persistent bleeding can be a sign of gum disease, so consult your dentist if you experience bleeding after the first couple of days.
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